Harvey Molotch


Harvey Molotch, PhD is Emeritus Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis and Sociology at New York University. Prior to his appointment at NYU (2000), he was Centennial Professor, London School of Economics (1998-1999) and Professor of Sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara. He has held other visiting faculty positions at Bocconi University (Milan, 2010), Northwestern University (1980), University of Essex (1986) and State University of New York, Stony Brook. Areas of research include urban development and political economy; the sociology of architecture, design and consumption; environmental degradation; and the mechanisms of interactional inequalities. He recently was part of an ongoing charette on revamping the downtown of Santa Barbara, California, working with the local AIA Chapter.

His writings focus on cities with special attention to economic development, urban security, artifacts, and product design. His work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Gates Foundation and Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, among others. He is the author of several books including Against Security: How We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger. (Princeton University Press, 2012.);  Toilet: Public Restrooms and the Politics of Sharing (edited with Laura Noren). (New York University Press, 2010.); Where Stuff Comes From: How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers and Many Other Things Come to Be as They Are. (Routledge, 2003); Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place (with John Logan) (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. 1987. 20th anniversary edition, 2007). He is the author of over 100 scholarly articles and book chapters as well as many articles, reviews, and commentaries in newspapers and magazines. Prizes and honors include: the 2013 Prose Award (Best book in sociology, American Association of Book Publishers); the 2009 Fred Buttel Award for Distinguished Career in Sociology of Environment and Technology; the 2004 Komarovsky Best Book Award for Where Stuff Comes From; the 2003 Helen and Robert Lynd Award for Distinguished Career Achievement in Urban Studies; the 1990 Award for Distinguished Scholarly Contribution to the discipline of Sociology (with John Logan) for Urban Fortunes, and the 1988 Robert Park Book of the Year Award (with John Logan) for Urban Fortunes. His PhD and Masters in Sociology were conferred by the University of Chicago, and he holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan.